Biology Grade 10


Cambridge IGCSE Biology Syllabus at GEMS Wesgreen International Secondary School aims to enables learners to:

  • increase their understanding of the technological world,take an informed interest in scientific matters, recognize the usefulness and limitations of scientific method, and how to apply this to other disciplines and in everyday life, develop relevant attitudes, such as a concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity, integrity, enquiry, initiative and inventiveness,
  • develop an interest in, and care for, the environment, better understand the influence and limitations placed on scientific study by society, economy, technology, ethics, the community and the environment and develop an understanding of the scientific skills essential for both further study and everyday life.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of all subjects state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be changed by the learning experience.

The aims of the Science Syllabus are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Develop understanding of nature, processes and methods of science through different type of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Ongoing Objectives

Throughout each unit, the students are given the opportunity to build on the objectives below:

  • provide an enjoyable and worthwhile educational experience for all learners, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level.
  • enable learners to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding to:
  • become confident citizens in a technological world and develop an informed interest in scientific matters.
  • be suitably prepared for studies beyond Cambridge IGCSE.

Unit Overview

Term 1

Approximate length: 12weeks

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need.

9. Transport in animals

This chapter will cover double and single circulatory systems, the structure and functions of heart, how exercise affects the heart, coronary heart disease, blood vessels, what blood contains, and its functions in the body, the lymphatic system.

9.1 Circulatory systems

9.2 The heart

9.3 Blood vessels

9.4 Blood

9.5 Lymph and tissue fluids

10. Pathogens and immunity

This chapter will cover pathogens and transmissible diseases, how pathogens are transmitted, body defenses against pathogens, the immune system

10.1 Pathogens

10.2 Body defenses

10.3 The immune system

11. Gas exchange in human

This chapter will cover:

the features of gas exchange surfaces in humans, the structure and function of the gas exchange system, differences in composition between inspired and expired air and the effects of physical

activity on rate and depth of breathing.

11.1 Gas exchange in humans

12. Respiration

Why organisms need energy, aerobic and anaerobic respiration and the gas exchange in humans.

12.1 Respiration

12.2 Aerobic respiration

12.3 Anaerobic respiration

13. Excretion in humans

This chapter will support learners to understand: the excretory products that are formed in the body, how kidneys excrete urea, why the volume and concentration of urine varies from day to day, how urea is produced, how the kidneys produce urine and dialysis treatment for kidney failure.

13.1 Excretion in humans

14. Coordination and response

In this chapter, you will find out about: the human nervous system, neurons and how they work, reflex actions, synapses, the structure and function of the eye, hormones, homeostasis as the control of internal conditions within set limits, name and identify the parts of human skin and how plants respond to stimuli.

14.1 Nervous control in humans

14.2 Sense organs

14.3 Hormones in humans

14.4 Homeostasis

14.5 Tropic responses

15. Drugs

The meaning of the term drug, antibiotics and misused drugs including heroin, alcohol, anabolic steroids and nicotine.

15.1 Drugs

16. Reproduction

This chapter will help the students to understand: the differences between asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction, the structure and functions of the parts of a flower, pollination and fertilization in flowers and conditions that affect germination of seeds. The structure and functions of the male and female human reproductive systems, fertilization and development of the embryo, the roles of the placenta, anti-natal care and birth, the menstrual cycle, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, methods of birth control and sexually transmitted infections.

16.1 Asexual reproduction

16.2 Sexual reproduction

16.3 Sexual reproduction in plants

16.4 Sexual reproduction in humans

16.5 Sex hormones in humans

16.6 Methods of birth control in humans

16.7 Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

Coordination and control

• principles of nervous coordination and control in humans

• the relationship between the structure and function of the human nervous system

• the relationship between structure and function in a reflex arc

• principles of hormonal coordination and control in humans

• hormones in human reproduction, hormonal and non-hormonal methods of contraception

• homeostasis.

Health, disease and the development of medicines

• the relationship between health and disease

• communicable diseases including sexually transmitted infections in humans (including HIV/AIDs)

• non-communicable diseases

• bacteria, viruses and fungi as pathogens in animals and plants

• body defences against pathogens and the role of the immune system against disease

• reducing and preventing the spread of infectious diseases in animals and plants

• the process of discovery and development of new medicines

• the impact of lifestyle factors on the incidence of non-communicable diseases.


Approximate length: 11 weeks

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need.

17. Inheritance

This chapter will discuss about: chromosomes and genes, the structure and function of DNA, cell division by mitosis and how to use genetic diagrams to predict and explain the features of the offspring of two parents.

17.1 Inheritance

17.2 Chromosomes, genes and proteins

17.3 Mitosis

17.4 Meiosis

17.5 Monohybrid inheritance

18. Variation and selection

Continuous and discontinuous variation, mutation and what causes it, sickle cell anaemia, adaptation to the environment, natural selection and selective breeding.

18.1 Variation

18.2 Adaptive features

18.3 Selection

19. Organisms and their environment

This unit will discuss about: food chains and food webs, efficiency of energy transfer in food chains, pyramids of numbers, pyramids of biomass, the carbon cycle and the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle and populations and the factors that affect them.

19.1 Energy flow

19.2 Food chains and food webs

19.2 Food chains and food webs continued

19.3 Nutrient cycles

19.4 Population size

20. Biotechnology and genetic engineering

Why bacteria are used in biotechnology and genetic engineering. How yeast is used to make ethanol and bread, the uses of pectinase and other enzymes in industry and the home, how penicillin is made and genetic engineering, and some of the ways it is useful to us.

20.1 Biotechnology and genetic engineering

20.2 Biotechnology

20.3 Genetic engineering

21. Human influences on ecosystems

This unit help learners to discuss about: agriculture and food production, habitat -destruction, pollution and conservation.

21.1 Food supply

21.2 Habitat destruction

21.3 Pollution

21.4 Conservation

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:


• levels of organisation within an ecosystem

• some abiotic and biotic factors which affect communities; the importance of interactions between organisms in a community

• how materials cycle through abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems

• the role of microorganisms (decomposers) in the cycling of materials through an ecosystem

• organisms are interdependent and are adapted to their environment

• the importance of biodiversity

• methods of identifying species and measuring distribution, frequency and abundance of species within a habitat

• positive and negative human interactions with ecosystems.
Evolution, inheritance and variation

• The genome as the entire genetic material of an organism

• How the genome, and its interaction with the environment, influence the development of the phenotype of an organism

• The potential impact of genomics on medicine

• Most phenotypic features being the result of multiple, rather than single, genes

• Single gene inheritance and single gene crosses with dominant and recessive phenotypes

• Sex determination in humans

• Genetic variation in populations of a species

• The process of natural selection leading to evolution

• The evidence for evolution

• Developments in biology affecting classification

• The importance of selective breeding of plants and animals in agriculture

• The uses of modern biotechnology including gene technology; some of the practical and ethical considerations of modern biotechnology.


Formative: Throughout the units, the learners will complete graded work, quizzes and investigation activities, which allows the teacher to assess the students’ attainment and inform their planning.

For each unit the students complete a pre and posttest. This allows us to see progress across the units and to inform our planning. 

Summative: At the end of each term, we complete internal tests. This allows us to measure the students’ progress throughout the term and year.

Mock Examination: The mock examination at the end of Year 10 is an important benchmark for teachers and students, and it serves several purposes:

It is an opportunity to be tested on the complete course material* under proper exam conditions.

• The students will have had to force themselves to start revising for these exams. Without the mock exams, they may have put off revision, until only a month or less before for the final exam.

• Students who are apprehensive or nervous about taking exams will have a chance to gain familiarity with the process so that ‘on the day’ they may feel less stressed and more confident.

• It provides an opportunity to spread the revision load of the subject over several months.

Next Steps

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